In the past few years, the number of people who own smartphones has multiplied rapidly. This exponential growth in the use of smartphones has led most top companies in the world to include a mobile marketing strategy in their marketing portfolio.
According to experts, the number of people who own smartphones globally had increased to 6.25 billion in 2021. Considering that the world’s population is 7.9 billion, the penetration of smartphones among the population is approximately 80%.
The recent technological shift from computers and laptops to smartphones has resulted in geofencing gaining a lot of popularity among marketing teams, helping them with location-based marketing.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing is a location-based service that uses GPS, Wi-Fi, RFID, cellular data, and Bluetooth to determine the position of a phone or other device and trigger a pre-programmed task set to occur whenever the phone enters or leaves the specified geofence.
Now, you must be wondering what a geofence is. A geofence is a virtual perimeter on virtual maps designed to mark a physical geographical location. The size of a geofence can vary greatly; they can be as big as a state or as small as a single shop. Although the shape of geofences is typically round, they can be made in any form desired by marketers if there are issues with multiple geofences overlapping each other.
There are many ways in which geofences are utilized. They can be configured to send mobile push notifications, send location-based marketing information, send targeted advertisements through social media and the internet, and much more. Geofencing can be used by security to receive alerts when new people enter or exit the specified geofence’s physical location. Geofencing can also be used to track employees or prisoners to improve the management of people.
How Does Geofencing Work?
A geofencing setup is configurable on mobiles, tablets, and even desktop computers. The process of setting up geofences is straightforward.
First, administrators must use GPS or RFID-enabled software to draw the virtual boundary of geofence around the location. During the perimeter-marking phase, administrators can draw a circle of 100 feet or less using Application Programming Interfaces (API), or by using geofencing software that allows users to make polygonal perimeters for advanced geofences. Once the boundary has been established, the geofence will trigger a response whenever devices enter or exit their bounds.
Mobile applications that support geofencing need to ask users for permission to make geofencing work. Asking for permission is necessary because geofencing requires the user to have location services enabled on their smartphone. If the user declines the app’s request, geofencing will not work for them.
Geofencing is not just something that businesses can use for marketing purposes. End-users can also set up geofencing with simplified mobile apps that perform specified tasks once your phone is in proximity to the chosen location. For example, if you live in a hot region, you can set a radius around your home with the help of a geofencing app that is compatible with smart homes. After doing this, if you enter the radius with your phone, the air conditioning will turn on automatically, and you will not have to sit in the heat, waiting for your home to get cooled. Another example is if you need to buy groceries before going back home, you can draw a large perimeter around your area. Crossing the perimeter’s threshold will send you a notification reminding you to get groceries before going home.
Why Do We Need Geofencing?
Although geofencing has recently received popularity among the masses, it has been a part of modern technology for quite some time. Every passing day, an increasing number of marketers have started including geofencing in their marketing strategy. Still, some marketers are skeptical about investing in a team that can establish a geofencing ecosystem for your business. Here are some of the benefits that marketers can enjoy by using geofencing marketing techniques:
✅ Boosts Engagement
Geofencing helps brands immensely by increasing their engagement with the public. For example, a person is in a shopping mall to shop for clothes, and you own a clothing store in the shopping mall. If you have a geofence that covers the area of the mall, the person will get a notification from your brand, which will make them more likely to check out your store and engage with your business. Since geofencing allows you to send your offers to the public at the right time, it increases the chance of them considering checking out your products.
✅ Makes Reaching Customers Easier
Optimal usage of geofencing for marketing allows you to reach your customers at the right place and time. As soon as a customer enters the proximity of your business outlet, they get a notification from you. Through this, geofencing boosts your local outreach without having to invest in flyers, banners, and promotions outside your shop. Since people are glued to their phones these days, reaching them directly on the phone drives them to your business even if they were not planning to visit your outlet before the notification.
✅ Provides Customers with a Personalized Experience
As humans, we desire to feel special and cared for. No one wants to see unwanted advertisements about things that are not relevant to them. If a customer notices your company sending annoying offers that are immaterial even once, they will not want to check out your future offers. Sending irrelevant advertisements tarnishes your brand’s image in front of the public. Geofencing allows you to track your audience and understand them better by analyzing the data collected by you. Through geofencing, you can also analyze and see the type of offers that receive better crowd response in your locality. Doing this allows you to send personalized offers to your potential customers that are more appealing to them and increase their likelihood of buying your products over your competitors’ products.
✅ Helps You Compete in the Market
With the help of geofencing, you can lure customers who would have chosen your competitors over you. All you must do to achieve this is put a geofence around your competitor’s outlet that gives potential clients an offer that is better than your competitor’s. As soon as people enter your competitor’s place of business, they will get a notification on their phone that tells them about your offer, which is better than your competitor’s. Simply doing this will make customers want to try you out instead because money is the most precious asset in the world, and the satisfaction of saving it is immeasurable.
Tips to Successfully Include Geofencing in Your Marketing Strategy
If the marketers are not aware of common problems in marketing strategies, there is plenty that can go wrong when setting up geofencing for your business. To avoid being the brand that everyone in the locality thinks is spam, here are some tips to help you get a successful geofencing marketing campaign:
✅ Utilize Clever CTAs
When using geofencing to market your products, you should use a Call to Action (CTA) that is clear and makes people act on it quickly. Using a good CTA will make people visit your business outlet as soon as possible. If you do not add a CTA, people might take your advertisement lightly and not act on it.
✅ Build Rapport with Customers
If you suddenly send a notification to people, they might find it creepy as they would not know where you found their contact information. It is best to be transparent about the way you got their information as this will give them more confidence in your brand and location-based marketing as well.
✅ Do Not Go Overboard with the Perimeter
As geofencing marketers, you do not want to have a geofence that is too large. You do not want anyone who enters your city to know about your business as this will make your brand look like spam, and people will easily forget about it. If you are confused about how big your geofence should be, a safe choice for most experts is 4-5 minutes of travel distance. If your outlet is in an area where most of the people are walking, start your geofence from a distance that is 4-5 minutes away from you on foot. If your outlet is in an area where people are mostly driving, you should start your perimeter from a distance that is 4-5 minutes away if you are in a vehicle.
✅ Make Multiple Geofences
You should set up multiple geofences after analyzing where your target audience usually goes. To build a successful geofencing ecosystem around your brand, consider setting up geofences in areas other than your place of business. For example, if you are a brand that sells sports equipment, you should consider setting up geofences around stadiums and sporting grounds that are near your store’s location.
With the rapid growth witnessed by the smartphone industry, the major players in all the industries have started implementing mobile marketing in their marketing strategies. Geofencing has allowed even small businesses to create a brand presence and increase customer interaction significantly. The cost to set up geofencing is no more than the one that businesses bear to promote themselves on different social media platforms, making it an affordable option for all types of businesses. Larger businesses can easily set up multiple geofences around all their outlets to wipe out the competitors who have not caught up to the changing times. We hope that this article has helped you understand what geofencing is and how it can be used to skyrocket your sales effortlessly.Tags: Geofencing Marketing, Geofencing Marketing Strategies, Geofencing Marketing Strategy, Location based service